NPR Poll – Results In

The results of that NPR poll of the top 100 SF&F books/series are now in. You can find them here. There are 15 books by women in the list, so 15%. Is that good? I suspect not. After all, this is an SF&F poll, and fantasy is supposed to be “women’s books”, except when it involves lots of hacking and slaying, of course. A total of 60,000 people voted. There’s no indication of the gender split in voters. (As I recall they didn’t ask.)

Still, there are two SF books by women in the top 25. They are by those well known women SF writers, Mary Shelley and Margaret Atwood.

12 thoughts on “NPR Poll – Results In

  1. Seriously? The Silmarillion got in the top 50? People voted *that* their favourite? I’m a compulsive reader and even I found that a slog.

      1. LOL Glad to see I wasn’t the only one who found The Silmarillion hard going. In the end the only way I got through it was by bringing it, and no other books in English, to France for 3 weeks. I actually read my shampoo bottles before finishing it….

        1. My comeback to anyone bragging that they’ve read Lord of the Rings such-and-such many times is, “Well, I’ve read The Silmarillion TWICE.” That usually shuts ’em up. 🙂

          Back on topic, I think I wound up voting for about half and half. My top-finishing choice was, in fact, LotR, and most of the other stuff I voted for didn’t make the top 100.

  2. Well I voted for ” The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin ” and also ..oh several others by people of the female persuasion, though, in fairness, I should say that lots of My male writer choices vanished in the brew and the order of choice wouldn’t have been mine, but ..wot the hell its a Beauty Contest, Right?

    Whatever happened to ” Gormangast ” and how come ? and so forth. Some of it I can rationalise .. “Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett” is has attempt to portray a really GOOD Religious Man, so fair enough as a brave attempt – although I think that it was a failed attempt.

    But, maybe I will look up one or two of titles that I’m unfamiliar with from The List on Amazon just out of curiosity and so, on that basis I suppose that it was a worthwhile effort.. I suppose, maybe, perhaps.

    Oh, and not only did I find ” The Silmarillion ” unreadable even as a Speed Read but ..speak it who dare! I didn’t like ” The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien ” Cosy middle class wish fulfilment fantasy …NO villain was ever that Stupid, and no group of Heros was ever so Bloody GULLIBLE!

    This has served to remind me of how much I really disliked Tolkien when I was a child. Well, really, Cheryl ! ….. curse You Read Baroness!!!

  3. I voted 80% works by women. (And one of the works by men I voted for didn’t make the top 100, either.) My taste never seems to be, er, representative. I didn’t even try to read the Silmarillion, after checking the standard beginning pages and two chunks from the middle. And I like not only Lord of the Rings but also Farmer Giles of Ham. I just don’t go for THINGS FROM THEIR BOTTOM DRAWER, for any value of “their”.

  4. I was in error. Both of the works by men I voted for are there. Not near the top, but there.

  5. I have no evidence at all, but as I looked over the raw votes in the comments, a while back when I was voting, I pictured a lot of youngish males voting. Maybe that’s my image of who might aggressively respond to online polls in the first place.

    For a popular poll, I thought it was a better list than I would have expected, especially if you don’t put an emphasis on the ranking within the 100.

  6. The list to choose options from had 22% women authors (the Swedish writing fairy crunched the numbers!) and a similar percentage of books by women (taking into account that many authors were listed with more than one title).

    So the percentages dipped with the popular vote. Disappointing, but not surprising.

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